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Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
April, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 04
On Straight Footing: CranioSacral Therapy Makes a Difference
By John Matthew Upledger
When the body receives the release it needs to begin healing, change can occur rather quickly—and unexpectedly. Just ask Sharon Aldrich. A licensed massage therapist, Sharon was enrolled in her first CranioSacral Therapy class.On the third day she was watching a demonstration of a 10-step protocol technique when she looked down and noticed something that amazed her. Her feet were facing straight. Since childhood, she had lived with an in-toe gait, or pigeon toes as it is commonly referred to. Looking back at that moment, Sharon said, "I noticed that I seemed to be standing in a posture that felt strange but not at all uncomfortable. I took my focus away from the demo and looked down at my feet. For the first time in my life, I was not pigeon-toed. My feet were out and it felt good all way up my legs, into my hips and low back. I then noticed that my ASIS and PSIS were level. No more anterior rotation." The CST techniques that Sharon received during practice sessions in the first two days of class had initiated a healing process that didn't stop with her feet.
A Life of Hard Knocks
No surprise, growing up with a condition such as pigeon toes presents a host of emotional and physical challenges. Sharon's right leg was so turned in at the knee that the ankle bone was actually facing forward. Growing up, she said, "There were many times when I would be so exceptionally tired I might step on my left big toe with my right foot. I remember having to sleep at night with shoes on and a corrective bar between them." The constant reminder from her mother to, "turn your feet out" still reverberates in her memory.
To her credit, Sharon didn't allow her condition to rule her life. "I was always very active as a child," she said, naming sports, cheerleading, gymnastics, horseback riding and general roughhousing as common activities. This active lifestyle came at a cost, however. Sharon endured a number of mishaps over the years that included a fractured tailbone from a fall on the balance beam at the age of 15, a fall off a horse, and a waterskiing accident in 1997 that left scar tissue in the area around her C-3. As a result, she said, "I had chronic lower lumbar and sacrum pain, and my S.I. joints continually locked up."
About six years ago, as Sharon's body continued to lose its ability to compensate for her rotated leg and many injuries, she began to experience right hip pain. This manifested in the form of numerous severe trigger points across her right piriformis and upper gluteals. "I could not sit on a hard surface for a long time nor in a car," she said. "Sometimes my back would seize up, and I had difficulty getting out of the car." An X-ray ultimately showed that Sharon's femur was moderately internally rotated — a fact that surprised her. "I was told that my foot wasn't turned in at the ankle; it was turned in completely at the hip." The type and severity of her pain began to make sense.
Light Touch Promotes Deep Release
Pain had been a part of Sharon's life for so long that she had learned to compensate for it in her daily living. All of that changed with the gentle, precise touch of CST, which activated the release of long-held restrictions and encouraged her body to self-correct. With that initial correction, Sharon said, "I had some aching in my right quadrant area medial to lateral. It felt as if my thigh was trying to roll in and also reorganize. When we did a mini session on the last day of class, the aching stopped the next day."
In Sharon's case, she believes her issues resided in a restriction within her pelvic girdle. This was released as she received the various techniques of the CST protocol during class. Mariann Sisco, PT, CST-D, who was Sharon's CST instructor, explained the connection. "The pelvic diaphragm of fascia lies within the pelvic girdle and is oriented transversely. It connects to other transverse planes of fascia—notably the respiratory diaphragm and the hips in Sharon's case." Touching on these transverse planes with CST proved to be a key in Sharon's healing process. "Most therapists focus on the longitudinal planes, while these transverse planes are often the missing link in clients who are not quite coming along," Mariann said. Being both student and patient was an especially educational experience for Sharon. As the body begins correcting, she said, "You don't see anything happening from the outside, which is so fascinating. As a practitioner, though, you can feel all of this. It's amazing."
A Continued Path of Healing
Within three months of her CST class experience, Sharon reported a 90-percent reduction in her low back, sacrum and right buttock pain. She said that her pelvic girdle is basically stable, as well. She attributes the remaining 10-percent of pain to being a hard worker and an active person. "I now only have to stretch my low back daily for normal age-related stiffness," Sharon says. "If I don't do that, I tighten up and experience some swelling lateral to C-3 and C-4 along with headaches."
To help with her residual pain, she says, "I have shown my [MT] colleague how to do the CST technique involving the decompression of C-1 and the occipital ridge. That helps so much with my headaches and my tightness." One of Sharon's biggest marvels continues to be the condition of her stance. "I have a pair of expensive tennis shoes that I always wore to work in," she says. "They have a stabilizer bar and are made to correct pronation and rolling in on the big toe. If I try to wear them now, my feet turn completely out! It has been a life-changing experience for me not to have back pain that very often dictated a good deal of my life. Also, for the first time in my life, I no longer hear 'Turn your feet out, sweetie' from my dear mother!"
John Matthew Upledger is the CEO of Upledger Institute International. For 25 years, he has been actively engaged in all aspects of the organization — from education to clinical services. For more information about CranioSacral Therapy and other modalities offered for study through Upledger Institute International go to www.iahe.com.
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